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Denmark Open 2017 Day 2 Round-up: Saina Nehwal, Srikanth Kidambi advance; PV Sindhu crashes out

FEATURED COLUMNIST
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1.79K   //    19 Oct 2017, 12:19 IST

Saina Nehwal
Saina Nehwal exults after beating Carolina Marin at the Denmark Open on Wednesday (Image courtesy: Badminton Updates Twitter)

While World No. 12 Saina Nehwal brought Diwali delight for Indian badminton fans by knocking out the Olympic champion Carolina Marin, the second seeded PV Sindhu suffered a shock first round defeat at the hands of the 10th ranked Chen Yufei at the $750, 000 Danisa Denmark Open in Odense, Denmark on Wednesday. In men’s singles, Srikanth Kidambi and HS Prannoy were the only ones who could enter the second round of this Superseries Premier event.

The day definitely belonged to the former champion Nehwal, who glided beautifully across the court to oust the fifth seeded Marin 22-20, 21-18 in a blockbuster opener that lasted 46 minutes. The Spanish southpaw had beaten her in the second round of the Japan Open Superseries last month on her way to the title.

But on Wednesday, Saina was thoroughly prepared not to let an encore happen. Targeting the lines with effortless ease, she forced the former World No. 1 into a flurry of unforced errors that ultimately shattered her spirit.

Nehwal next takes on the 15th ranked Nitchaon Jindapol of Thailand for a place in the quarter-finals.

Also read: Denmark Open 2017: In-depth analysis of the chances of the Indian shuttlers

Sindhu saves four match points in her loss

pv sindhu
It wasn't a good day for PV Sindhu

Later in the day, the Korea Open champion Sindhu failed to join Saina in the second round as she crumbed to a 17-21, 21-23 defeat to Chen Yufei in 47 minutes. The reigning world junior champion had stunned Sindhu in the first round of the Malaysia Open Superseries in April but the Indian avenged that defeat in the semi-finals of the World Championships in August.

Sindhu, who has won three titles this year, could not show any of those heroics and fell into a heap of errors which let the Chinese establish her rhythm nicely in both the games.

Towards the very end of the match, the Rio Olympic silver medallist did show sparks and saved four match points but by then, it was already too late. The 19-year-old closed out the match on her fifth match point to dash all hopes of the World No. 2.

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Also read: Denmark Open 2017: Sikki Reddy and Pranaav Jerry Chopra ousted in first round

Srikanth beats fellow Indian

In men’s singles, the eighth seeded Srikanth Kidambi won an all-Indian opener as he beat Indian qualifier Subhankar Dey 21-17, 21-15. The World No. 74 made it a very tight first game and even led his higher-ranked compatriot 11-10 at the mid-game interval. After the Indonesia and Australian Open champion stormed back, he once more fought back and trailed Srikanth by just two points at 17-19 before the eighth seed slammed shut the game.

Next up for Srikanth is the 34th ranked Jeon Hyeok Jin of Korea.

The US Open winner HS Prannoy needed 48 minutes to oust the World No. 38 Emil Holst 21-18, 21-19 and set up a huge second round showdown with the legendary Malaysian, Lee Chong Wei.

Singapore Open winner B Sai Praneeth did not share the same good fortunes and crashed out 10-21, 15-21 to the 25th ranked Hans-Kristian Solberg Vittinghus of Denmark.

Women’s doubles pair squanders match points to lose

The women’s doubles pair of Ashwini Ponnappa and N Sikki Reddy squandered a couple of match points to go down in a heartbreaking 21-15, 18-21, 21-23 loss to the Malaysian pair of Chow Mei Kuan and Lee Meng Yean in a titanic first round battle that lasted 1 hour 8 minutes. Reddy and Ponnappa’s conquerors are placed just one rung above them in the BWF World Rankings at 22nd.

The veteran Ponnappa also lost her mixed doubles match alongside Satwiksairaj Rankireddy. The two, who qualified for this tournament, were beaten 19-21, 17-21 by the Danish combine of Niclas Nohr and Sara Thygesen.

In men’s doubles, Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty could not hold on to their lead and went down 21-14, 18-21, 17-21 to the Korean pair of Chung Eui Seok and Kim Dukyoung. Manu Attri and B Sumeeth Reddy were defeated 13-21, 18-21 by the sixth seeds Mads Pieler Kolding and Mads Conrad-Petersen.

With the above four losses, India’s campaign came to an end in the doubles section.

Also read: HS Prannoy eyes big titles in year of CWG, Asian Games




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FEATURED COLUMNIST
A freelance journalist based in Kolkata who is a diehard Rafael Nadal fan. She is also extremely passionate about India’s progress in sports and hopes to throw light on India’s unsung sports heroes through her articles. When not screaming her lungs out in support of her favourite sports stars, she can be seen reading, watching movies or immersed in planning her next travel destination!
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